Confused about GRE or GMAT for MBA? Get your confusion clear

By Editorial

Whenever a student thinks of pursuing an MBA degree, they think of sitting for the GMAT exam. However, this trend has changed slightly as many B-schools have started accepting GRE scores in place of GMAT scores. Now many may wonder as to which exam is better. Read further to know about details on the examinations so that you can decide which suits your need better.


This examination is usually taken by those candidates who want to pursue an MBA degree or want to get them enrolled in a business institution.  

This examination has four parts- verbal section with 41 questions, quantitative section with 37 questions, analytical writing assessment where one needs to write an essay in 30 minutes and integrated reasoning with 12 questions.

How to score in GMAT?

You get a composite score for GMAT between the range of 200-800. For this composite score, the quantitative and verbal section scores are considered. The scores that you get in analytical writing and integrated reasoning are not mentioned in this composite score.

This exam is an adaptive one and is computer-based. After you have given an answer, one cannot go back and change or edit it. The first question usually is medium level difficult. The next is a bit hard and the next one is easy. This kind of different difficulty level has been done so that the accurate scores can be achieved. 


GRE scores can be used by a candidate to get them admitted in different graduate institutions. However, the GMAT scores can only be used for enrolment in B-schools. This is one of the most basic differences between these two examinations. 
GRE consists of three major parts: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing (two essays of 30 minutes duration each).  

How to score in GRE?

The scores in the three sections are reported in a separate manner and not combined in one composite score.

The GRE exam is conducted on the computer and it is adaptive section wise. In GRE, the range of difficulty depends on the complete section and not on individual questions as in GMAT. In GRE exam, an individual can go back to the questions that they have answered within a particular section.

Which exam is difficult- GMAT or GRE?

The verbal section in both the examinations are of equal importance and tests same skills of the candidate taking the test. However, GRE has a slightly difficult and also challenging verbal section. The GRE tests your grammar knowledge more than it is tested in GMAT exam. It also has slightly difficult reading passages. This can be very difficult for those individuals who are non-native English speaking individuals.

If you consider the quantitative section of both the exams, GMAT is difficult when compared to GRE. GMAT tests your critical thinking and analytical ability more than it is tested in GRE. The question format can also be unusual and may confuse many candidates as they are often not habituated with those unusual formats. 

The writing sections in both these exams are of equal difficulty levels. GMAT asks a candidate to write one essay whereas GRE requires one to write two essays. However GRE gives thirty minutes time to write each essay. Hence it is not much of a problem for a candidate who can write down one essay. 

Which exam do business schools prefer-GMAT or GRE?

It has been found that about a majority of the business schools in US accept both GMAT and GRE scores. However, it is better to check with the business school to see which exam score they prefer. The GRE is accepted for admission in most graduate schools worldwide. However, for a candidate looking to pursue a business program, GMAT is the only option.

GRE or GMAT: Which is better?


GRE Test


Test takers 532,000 225,600
Who can appear for the test? Candidates who want to pursue a Master's degree or wants admission in a business school Candidates who wants admission in a business school
If you are planning for a business school 1300 universities are accepting GRE scores  2300 universities are accepting GMAT scores
Program cost Approximately 205 USD Approximately 250 USD
Exam pattern Year round
If computer-based tests cannot be conducted, paper-based test is conducted.
3 times a year
Year round
There is no paper-based test
Emphasis More on vocabulary More on grammar
Mathematics Easier than GMAT Difficulty level is high
Exam time 3 h 45 mins 3 h 7 mins
Combined score 260-340 200-800



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